Barkby United’s tough first half of the County League Premier season continued with a heavy seven-wicket defeat at Kibworth on Saturday.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bat, but their innings got off to a bad start as Kibworth bowlers took advantage of a damp wicket to take the first four Barkby wickets with only 52 runs on the board.
Stand-in captain Aiden Morris played a skipper’s knock with an unbeaten 50, but he ran out of partners as wickets crashed at the other end.
Steve Flowers (20) and Ryan Waplington (12) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures as Barkby were bowled out for 135 in just 35 overs.
Kibworth made short work of reaching their victory target in only 21 overs, despite Smith getting the wickets of Biljon and Josh Cobb.
Craven, who was dropped on one, went on to make 70 not out as the home side reached their target with only three wickets down.
Their seventh defeat in 10 matches leaves Barkby United second-bottom, two points above basement side Lutterworth, and host Loughborough Town on Saturday with a 12.30pm start.
The Second XI are away at Ketton in Division Three (1pm start).
Barkby: D. Tew 5, M. Troop 7, M. Bartram 2, S. Flowers 20, M. Carmichael 8, A. Morris 50*, J. Drake 1, R. Waplington 12, J. Johnson 8, C. Smith 2, J. Hunt 5, Extras 15. Total: 135.
Bowling: J. Johnson 5-2-21-1; R. Waplington 4-0-28-0; C. Smith 4.5-0-43-2; J. Drake 5-0-24-0; J. Hunt 2-0-16-0.